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Since as early as the 7th century BC women in China have been permitted to hold positions of power and even lead in prominent positions as national figureheads Unfortunately no level of leadership education or social prominence for women could change the patriarchal nature of traditional Chinese society From the early Han Dynasty to the last of the Chinese dynasties the Ching Dynasty 17th-early 20th centuries women have played significant and defining roles in the political structure of China though these roles have been defined by the death of their husbands and their circumstances rather than by the social acceptability of female leaders in Chinese society CHINESE SOCIETY Even since the dramatic post-1949 changes in China regarding the role of women China has remained paternalistic in its attitudes and social reality The land reform which was intended to create a more balanced economic force in marriage was the beginning of governmental efforts to pacify women with no real social effect Communist China needed to address the woman question Since women wanted more equality and equality is doled out from the hands of those in power capitalism was examined The economic issues of repressed Chinese women were focused on the Land Act and the Marriage Act of 1950 The Land reform succeeded in eliminating the extended familys material basis and hence its potential for posing as a political threat to the regime Small-plots were redistributed to each family member regardless of age or sex and land reform provisions stipulated that property would be equally divided in the case of divorce Nonetheless their husbands effectively controlled land allotted to women Patriarchal familial relationships in the Confucian tradition seemed to remain intact The Marriage Law of 1950 legalized marriage denounced patriarchal authority in the household and granted both sexes equal rights to file for divorce The second and most prominent element of the strategy was integrating women into economic development Womens employment was viewed as a prerequisite
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